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More PT?

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junior member
Oct 24, 2008
United States
Greetings! I'm 8 weeks out from left THR, walking well and feeling really good (just some residual thigh swelling with tenderness). I had in-home PT for 4 weeks (8 sessions) after my 3 day hospital stay. The PT didn't see the need to continue in-home therapy, but seemed certain the surgeon would send me to outpatient PT after my checkup at 5 weeks. Much to my surprise, after watching me walk, my surgeon said "pfffttt, you don't need anymore PT, you're doing fantastic - just regular activities of daily living will bring you back to normal." In a way, I must admit, I kind of felt like a kid with a homework pass, as I wasn't really looking forward to outpatient PT, but a little voice inside my head told me I really ought to be doing it.

At this point, my strength is steadily increasing - easily walking over a mile a day, riding the recumbent bike, climbing stairs without noticing much strength difference between the 2 legs, etc. My endurance definitely needs a lot of work, but that's not surprising considering I've been sedentary for so long. What doesn't seem to be getting any better is my flexibility. I'm sure this is something PT could help with, but then I thought, maybe I could just do some stretching exercises on my own. But I don't know what kind, and I'm concerned about what's safe. All my restrictions were lifted at 5 weeks, but with the imposing caveat that "dislocation will be a lifelong risk."

So....Bonesmarties, what do you think? Should I bite the bullet and call the doc and say I need an order for PT? Should I just be patient and see if the flexibility really does come back from daily activities? After all, it has been only 8 weeks. Or do any of you have any safe exercises to recommend for a posterior approach? As always, thanks for your ideas and insights.


Apr 25, 2008
Southern California
United States United States

I am at 5 months post right hip replacement. At 6 weeks I went to pt as I asked the doc exactly what machines I could use at the gym and lots of questions as you have at this point. He decided it wouldn't hurt to have supervision for a while. He did leave it as my decision.
I had started swimming at 4 weeks and I think that brought my flexibility to a good level.
I was crouching down to show my doc that my right side was so much weaker and he was amazed at the position saying a lot of hip patients never get to that point.
At pt we worked on strength and a little on stretching, basically just quad stretches.

As far as the pool, I swam laps doing all different strokes. I did a lot of breaststroke. At first I wondered about the leg frog kick, but just did it and also stretched a lot under water.

My home pt was wonderful after surgery. She told me that most hip patients do not need pt. Her opinion was that those that are the most active are the ones she thought should continue pt.

I see I am jumping all over the place. Hope this helps.


Oct 1, 2008
New Zealand New Zealand
Hi there,

Well, for what it is worth, here in New Zealand we don’t seem to have the intensive PT sessions (after total hip replacement) that you have in the US or that my sister (who had the same op the same day as I did in Australia) has been subjected to. My surgeon also has the view that “regular activities of daily living will bring you back to normal." He said just to take things slowly, and “no running”.

I was reasonably fit, active and healthy before surgery, but certainly no athlete – exercise consultants at my University gym sniffily refer to it as a “lifestyle” level of fitness! I am quite young (45).

At the moment I am walking at least 2km a day, on top of the usual wandering around at work (with lots of steps and stairs!), household chores, shopping etc.

Today I made an appointment to see a trainer at the gym who specialises in “rehabilitation” after injury etc. So by Thursday I might have some more ideas as to some sort of sensible program. I need to be in really good shape by the three month mark, so I am conscious of not overdoing things, but don’t want to “underdo” either.

Hope that helps :)

Nearly Nine weeks left THR.
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